Villagers in Uganda will be the beneficiaries of the funds raised last month during a South Orange County run/walk event. Money raised will help fund the building of water wells in a region that suffers greatly from a lack of drinking water.
Some 700 attendees, both competitive runners as well as those who came just because they care about the mission of Wells of Life, participated in the organization’s second annual Run4Water event held at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. Organizers estimate net proceeds at $160,000 in support of sustainable water wells for villagers in Uganda, Africa. Run4Water featured 38 teams; over 600 race participants in 5K and 1K runs/walks, sponsor exhibit booths, give-a-ways, children’s activities, food booths and music.
The top three fundraising teams were Mater Dei High School that raised $18,201; Servite High School, with $12,171; and a group of young girls known as Precious Flowers that brought in $9,003. In seventh place was Rosary Academy, raising $6,810. The three high school teams together raised 30% of team fundraising proceeds totaling over $37,000.
Wells of Life Founder and Executive Director Nick Jordan said, “Today we saw a wave of generosity among hundreds of people that made up the Wells of Life community so that no one will lack clean water. Proceeds from Run4Water will fund 30 new wells that ultimately provide the gift of life and hope for thousands of families in Uganda’s poorest villages.
The fundraising goal for each team (made up of families, schools, churches and businesses) was $6,000 – enough to fund one water well and provide clean water to 1,000 villagers for an estimated 25 years. Wells of Life raises the overhead so that team donations fund 100% of the well production.
While the main draw was raising funds for water wells, many attend to compete. In the 5K event, Aaron Perry came in overall first place at a time of 16:27, Shane Brinson was in second at 17:26 and Vincent Lord Sarion came in third at 18:32. The top three female 5K runners were Amelia Kang at 20:20, Juliet Wisdom in second at 22:10 and Ella Williamson came in third at 22:32.
Event supporters and sponsors included Pedego Electric Bikes, Mission Viejo-based Custom Comfort Mattress and Madrid Skateboards.